If you or your doctor suspect that COPD is the root issue of your breathing problems, don’t panic. While COPD cannot be cured, you can keep it under control by taking healthy and preventive measures. To help maintain and control your COPD, apply the following 10 tips.
Tips for Controlling COPD
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a chronic lung disease that causes difficulty breathing and complicated respiratory issues. Read more about the effects and symptoms of COPD here.
1. Maintain a healthy diet.
Did you know that healthy eating habits can affect your lungs? A poor diet often reduces energy and weakens the immune system, making it more difficult for individuals with chronic diseases to see any improvement in their health. If you want to manage your lung health, the place to begin is at the breakfast table.
2. Exercise regularly.
Of course, healthy eating goes hand-in-hand with daily exercise. If you suffer from a chronic lung condition, you probably dread physical activity. Exercise can make it more difficult to breathe and even trigger attacks. However, exercise also increases your overall health and lung strength. This is why it is so important that you work out an exercise plan with your doctor. Physical activity is vital to your wellbeing, even in small amounts.
3. Give up smoking and other tobacco products.
Not only is smoking the primary cause of COPD, but it also worsens it as time goes on. It can be incredibly difficult to break a smoking habit or nicotine addiction, but it is absolutely vital to your lung health that you do so. Talk to your doctor about different methods for quitting tobacco products.
4. Create an action plan.
An action plan is a plan written by you and your doctor that details exactly how you will respond in the event of a lung health emergency. It typically lists medications, procedures, and other helpful data that can help you understand whether the attack is minor or severe. It is important to use this plan to track and control your COPD symptoms so that you can refer to them later.
5. Rest your body.
Although physical exercise is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, so is plenty of rest. Do not over-exert yourself, either physically or mentally. While physical stress can restrict airways, panic, and anxiety can do the same. Rest often, and rest well.
6. Be on guard against respiratory illnesses.
COPD often makes individuals more susceptible to respiratory infections, and, in turn, respiratory infections increase the symptoms of COPD. Try your best not to interact with individuals you know to be sick, and take extra care during flu season. Wash your hands often, sanitize belongings daily, and use wisdom regarding who and what you touch.
7. Take the proper medication.
Of course, this should be a no-brainer. If your doctor has instructed you to take a certain medication for your COPD, follow instructions. Simply taking the right medication will help you control your COPD and reduce symptoms.
8. Improve your indoor air quality.
Indoor air quality plays a major role in controlling COPD. Dust, dirt, allergens, and other air pollutants irritate the lungs when ingested. Even if you stay home, away from the world’s infections, you could be breathing in allergens that are weakening your immune system and worsening your COPD. Take time to dust your furniture, vacuum your floors, and clean your air vents. An air purifier is helpful as well.
9. Monitor your lung function.
Spirometry tests, taken either at home or at the doctor’s office, helps you monitor your lung capacity and breath control. It allows you to see spikes and dips and discover correlations between attacks. Data from lung tests should be logged into your action plan.
10. Communicate with your doctor.
Above all, stay in constant communication with your primary care physician. Your health should be a priority, and that means staying alert and communicating important information.